Top unis don’t know how to handle sexual assault cases

Cardiff, KCL, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester all fall short

One in five Russell Group unis have absolutely no guidelines on how to help you if you’ve been sexually assaulted, says a new report. 

A shocking five of our best unis don’t have any protocol or procedure to deal with those who have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed.

Cardiff, KCL, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester all fall short when it comes to assisting students who have been involved in sex attacks.

And seven of the 24 Russell Group unis don’t even record allegations of sexual assault from their own students.


A new Guardian article says just seven of the 24 Russell Group unis don’t monitor allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment and one in five admit having no specific guidelines on how to report allegations to the police or uni chiefs.

While 18 unis did have data on the number of allegations recorded, they didn’t have a standard system of reporting.

Many listed individual sex attacks specified by year and others just said “confidential conversations with harassment advisers where incidents of this nature were discussed”.


Reported incidents varied from two to 44 over the past five years, as unis where all allegations are recorded tend to have higher figures.

Seven of the 24 Russell Group universities said they do not systematically record allegations of rapes, sexual assaults and sexual harassment, while a further seven record only some.

This comes after a string of sexual assaults at Oxford sparked the #NoMeansNo campaign to speak out against attacks at uni.

Dianne Whitfield, chief policy officer at Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, said: “You have to start with knowing how big the problem is.

“If you are not recording it, how do you know? If you do not have trained staff and clear reporting routes, how do you know?

Russell Group Director General Dr Wendy Piatt added: “Russell Group universities take the issue of any kind of harassment, abuse or violence against women extremely seriously indeed.

“Our institutions have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with these matters, because ensuring student safety and wellbeing is extremely important to us.”